“As a Latina and first-generation college graduate, I am no stranger to the value and importance of hard work, diligence, and persistence. I treat everything I do as if it is the most important thing I have ever done, because I firmly believe that the harder people work, the luckier they get.”
Melissa is an attorney in the Litigation Department, focusing her practice on restrictive covenant and trade secret cases, commercial litigation, and appellate matters. In her position, Melissa has worked to secure preliminary injunctions against employees who have defected to competitors, taking with them the company’s trade secrets. Melissa also has utilized her experience as a clerk to former Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to prepare appellate pleadings and advise clients on a vast array of procedural issues at both the trial and appellate levels.
As a Latina and first-generation college graduate, Melissa values hard work, diligence, and persistence. For her, being a lawyer means being a lifelong learner: learning to stand in someone else’s shoes; learning to see through someone else’s eyes, and learning to make a tangible difference in the world. Having grown up with a father who served his community as a firefighter and a paramedic, Melissa understands the importance of empathy and dedication. To this end, Melissa values open and frequent communication with her clients, and she works to ensure her clients feel heard, valued, and respected.
When not working, Melissa coaches Penn State Law’s mock trial teams, plays intramural soccer, seeks out new, local restaurants, and reads novels, particularly those written by Jodi Picoult.
During law school, Melissa gained practical experience in the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic. As a student advocate, she obtained a favorable outcome for a pro se litigant after working on a team to submit a brief regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit as amicus counsel.
Melissa also served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor Saylor of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, where she analyzed petitions for allowance of appeal to discern whether the Court should exercise its discretionary Jurisdiction, and drafted allocatur reports reflecting a recommendation. She also drafted majority opinions, dissents, and concurrences, reviewed and analyzed circulating opinions.
Melissa was included in the 2023 Pennsylvania Rising Stars® list. She was one of five Penn State Law students selected to teach Mongolian lawyers about the U.S. legal system. She was a legal teaching assistant at The National University of Mongolia.
Melissa was also one of three Penn State Law students selected to participate in a roundtable discussion with Yale Law School Professor, James Forman, Jr., regarding the war on drugs and its ultimate relationship to mass incarceration.
Sex Trend or Sexual Assault?: The Dangers of Stealthing and the Concept of Conditional Consent
123 Penn. St. L. Rev. 217 (2018)
Police Sexual Violence: Police Brutality, #MeToo, and Masculinities
108 Calif. L. Rev. 1487 (2020)
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